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School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

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Cheryl Christiansen

Cheryl Christiansen works as a Staff Associate for the Consortium for Crime and Justice Research and the Juvenile Justice Institute. She tracks the department’s budgets and supports the directors and coordinators with their various administrative needs. Prior to joining CCJR/JJI, she worked in the Biology department. She also worked in the dean’s office in the College of IS&T, starting there in 2008. Cheryl earned an associate’s degree while raising her boys and volunteering at their schools and her church.

Ashley Cunningham

Ashley Cunningham is an Academic Advisor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UNO.  She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Omaha Campus) with a degree in Family Science and a minor in Sociology. She is currently pursuing her M.S. in Student Affairs Counseling at UNO. Her previous experience includes work as a Crisis Counselor for Boys Town and as an Advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with the YWCA in Omaha.

Ashley loves traveling and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and three children.

Arnisha Collins

Arnisha Collins has been the Front Office Assistant in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UNO since 2011, but worked in the Financial Aid office at UNO since 2007. She graduated from UNO with a B.G.S. in criminology and criminal justice in December 2011. She enjoys working with UNO students and spending time with her three children.

Karen Fulton

Diane Dannelly is an Academic Advisor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UNL. Diane has an extensive background in education and management from her 25 years in the Army.  During her career, she served as a military instructor, a deputy director for the NATO Course at the National Defense University, and a director for one of the advanced individual training departments. Diane attended the University of Nebraska for 4 years and received a M.B.A. in 1988 from Marshall University. She still enjoys traveling but is glad to be back in “Husker Land”.

Sommer Fousek

Sommer Fousek is a Program Coordinator for the Juvenile Justice Institute and the Consortium for Crime and Justice Research. She spends most of her time on the Lincoln campus, assisting with the implementation of grant-funded projects. She received her bachelor’s degree in English and International Affairs from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She enjoys spending time with family, reading, hiking and playing volleyball.

Karen Fulton

Karen J. Fulton has been with the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in various capacities since 1978 and currently serves as Assistant Director for Academic and Student Affairs. She received her B.S.B.A. in 1985 and an M.B.A. in 1987 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2009, she received the Student Foundation Builders Award for Outstanding Advising and was also the 2009 winner of the Floyd S. Oldt Award for Exceptional Service to the University. This prestigious, university-wide award is sponsored by the University Association for Administrative Development. Karen enjoys being involved with criminology and criminal justice majors throughout their college career from visiting with prospective students, advising, senior assessment and graduation. She also served as the criminal justice internship coordinator for 10 years.

Wendy Furst

Wendy Furst joined the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in August 2010 and is the Distance Education Coordinator for online courses offered by both the Lincoln and Omaha programs. Ms. Furst earned her B.A. in Sociology from Vassar College (1990) and her M.A. in Sociology from the University at Albany, SUNY (1994). She has previously worked at Western Washington University as an instructor. More recently, she was involved in website and product usability and market research, working for Consumer Reports and Idean Research in Finland.


Michaela Harrington is Assistant to the Director of the School.  She holds an M.A. in communication from UNO and B.S. in English and journalism from Wayne State College.

Barbara Homer

Barbara Homer is a Secretarial Specialist on the Lincoln campus. Barbara has been employed at the University of Nebraska since 1991. Barbara is actively involved in the University of Nebraska Office Professionals Association (UNOPA) and has served in many capacities. She received the 2007-08 Floyd S. Oldt Outstanding Staff Award, and took 3rd place for her UNOPA Notes newsletter entry at the national level. Her outside interests are: bowling (presently on a F/S league), reading and working out.

Robert P. Houston

Robert P. Houston is a Senior Community Research Associate. Prior to this appointment, he served as Director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services and as a Cabinet Member to Governor Dave Heineman. He has served as an auditor for the American Correctional Association (ACA), a consultant for the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the U.S. Department of State, and, in 2012, was appointed as a Commissioner of the American Correctional Association. Bob is an Associate Member of the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA). Mr. Houston has both a B.S. and M.S. in Criminal Justice from UNO. He was recognized by the College of Continuing Studies as Instructor of the Year in 1998 and by the College of Public Affairs and Community Service for Excellence in Community Service (2002), the Alumni Community Service Award (2009), the Hubert Locke Award (2011), and the UNO Alumni Citation.

Gerilynn Murphy

Geri Murphy is an Administrative Technician. Prior to joining the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Geri was the Accounting Technician in the Grants Accounting Office for seven years and has been with UNO since April 1990. She assists criminal justice faculty with grant matters, works with graduate students on various matters of concern, keeps track of the school and grant budgets, and assists everyone with questions about University procedures. She has been a member of the University Staff Advisory Council. Currently, she is a member of the CPACS Building Committee.

Laura Schoenrock

Laura Schoenrock has been a Program Coordinator for the Consortium for Crime and Justice Research since April 2011. Currently Laura is coordinating the development of a re-entry program for imprisoned individuals in the state of Nebraska. She is a graduate of the UNO M.P.A. program and holds a B.A. degree in Organizational Communication studies from the University of Northern Iowa.

Kristin Zimmerman

Kristin Zimmerman is an Academic Adviso in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UNO. She earned a B.A. in journalism mass communications, emphasis in public relations, and a minor in music at Creighton University. Kristin graduated from UNO with her M.S. in counseling, student affairs. Kristin’s background includes positions in student affairs at both Iowa Western Community College and Creighton University. In her free time, Kristin enjoys spending time with her husband and pets, reading, traveling, volunteering and playing music on her harp and piano.